The Prevalence of Predators Among Us
In updating What makes Narcissists Tick, one of the things I have been doing is adding links to outside sources of information on key points.
One thing that has troubled me is the official DSM "estimate" of the prevalence of NPD in the general population.
Why? Because no first-year college math or science student would dare try to pass off such an "estimate" (based solely on statistics taken from clinical samples of patients undergoing treatment) as legitimate.
Moreover, this "estimate" (of 1%) is routinely stated in the literature as gospel, without the necessary caveats that should make it clear that it is but a guess and not to be considered reliable.
Both these facts beg the question Is this outfit that shoddy? Or is this obscurantism?
I can come up with no other plausible explanation for such bad science, can you?
I'm a believer in leaning toward the more likely explanation when you can't be sure. And it isn't very likely that this outfit is that shoddy and unable to handle statistics properly.
In fact, all psychopaths are narcissists and (according to their own estimates) psychopaths alone comprise far more than 1% of the population. Boom, that fact alone blows the 1% estimate right out of the water. So, where is it coming from?
They must be counting only those diagnosed as narcissists only, ignoring all cases of co-morbidity, which are the majority since they themselves instruct clinicians to diagnose more than one personality disorder if at all possible. (Which raises the question of why they do this. To muddy the picture?) Cute. That's how you fiddle with statistics to make the prevalence of NPD seem as low as fiddling with statistics can make it.
Well, perhaps, what if Sam Vaknin is correct and narcissism is the root of all personality disorders?
I, personally, believe (especially after my work in prison) that AsPD is simply a less inhibited form of NPD and that applying the two diagnoses to the same person is superfluous. ...I regard pathological narcissism as THE Source of all PDs. ...I think that the diagnostic distinctions between the Cluster B disorders are pretty artificial. It is true that some traits are much more pronounced (or even qualitatively different) in given disorders. For example: the grandiose fantasies typical to a narcissist (their pervasiveness, their influence on the minutest behaviour, their tendency to inflate and so on) – are rather unique in both severity and character to NPD. But I think that they all the Cluster B Personality Disorders occupy a continuum.
If he's right, there are an awful lot of malignant narcissists out there. Presumably, that's why his prevalence estimate is much higher than the DSM estimate. It seems arrived at by adding the DSM estimates of other personality disorders into the total.
Which still puts it way too low, because the DSM estimates are all based on invalid samples, clinical studies of people in treatment.
The first legitimate population survey was taken in 2004, and it doubled the DSM estimate of the rate of personality disorder in the general population (6-9%), estimating that 15% of American have at least one of seven personality disorders - not counting borderline, schizotypal, and narcissistic disorders.
This survey also showed how far off DSM estimates are. For example, it showed the prevalence of Avoidant PD to be 2.4-to-5 times higher than the DSM. It also showed that Dependent PD is the least common PD in the population, not the most common as the DSM estimates rate it.
Yet still the DSM estimates are cited as gospel. Why?
Scientists would never deceive us, right? Wrong. Not so long ago, they ganged up and ridiculed Louis Pasteur for saying that germs cause disease, refusing to quit committing surgery without even washing their hands. A few decades ago, their voices joined as one in a chorus of screaming at us that the planet would be dead by now due to a population explosion. For decades, they ignored the evidence in favor of a low carbohydrate diet to lend their voices, as one, in a chorus of praise of for the high carbohydrate diet. They ignored the known fact that most blood cholesterol is produced by the liver and has almost nothing to do with cholesterol in the food you eat. Now their voices gang up in a chorus that blames global warming on the burning of fossil fuels, ignoring the facts proving that human-made carbon-dioxide emissions cannot possibly be having more than a minuscule effect on the trend. They also ignore the fact that the United States is the only net absorber of carbon dioxide in the world = removes more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than it adds, largely because we are decades ahead of the rest of the world in cleaning the air and reforestation, so that the only additional changes we could make would be very expensive and produce minimal change.
So, scientists are no more honest than any other group of people, being just as yielding to groupthink and political correctness among their peers.
Over time, I have been noting strange hints and bits of information that indicate the mental-healthcare establishment is a patronizing big brother that doesn't want us to know how prevalent NPD is. Are they afraid that "people would panic if they knew" and start pointing the finger all around, suspecting every other person of having NPD and stigmatizing those with the disease? Do they fear people would call for change in the law to allow forcing those suspected of having NPD to undergo evaluation and possibly be locked up?
I don't know. But I am really getting suspicious of that.
How self flattering to have such a low opinion of the "common people," as this guy describes us. How arrogant to Daddy us by keeping knowledge from us on the grounds that it would be dangerous for us to have.
My, what good people to have such bleeding-heart humanitarian concern for the predators among us ... and such callous disregard for the much greater pain and suffering of their unwarned and therefore unsuspecting victims, who vastly outnumber them.
Concealing the truth about how common predators are is no different than a bishop moving a predatory priest from parish to parish for a continuous supply of unsuspecting prey. In both cases, you're serving up unsuspecting prey to a wolf in sheep's clothing.
Of course there would be calls for Draconian measures. But, as a civil society of grownups, we are quite capable of dealing with them, thank you.
Of course it would be wrong to lump all the mentally ill into one category as "dangerous." That's ridiculous. But it's no more wrong and ridiculous than the mental healthcare establishment lumping all the mentally ill together as "okay, just disabled."
They have political and social agendas: 'People are inherently good,' they say. 'Just give them a hug, a puppy dog, and a musical instrument and they're all going to be okay.'
Predators are predators. You don't talk a tiger into being an antelope. The predators among us are sane, just twisted. They can and do control their conduct when the coast isn't clear. So, what they do when the coast is clear and a vulnerable target of opportunity is within striking distance IS THEIR FAULT.
But the wilful unknowing of this keeps obdurately on. See it in this paper by Pat Riser. He makes no distinction between mental disorder and personality disorder. He writes as though predators don't exist. Indeed, his idea of "mental illness" puts those scare quotes around it. It isn't mental illness, it's being "psychiatrically labeled/disabled" (this time the scare quotes are mine). Their "self determination" has been blocked. In other words, their parents and society determine their behavior.
He has a whole list of words to make taboo. When a psychopath or narcissist commits a crime, the news media must not mention that the perp is mentally ill. We mustn't call psychopaths "psychopaths" or narcissists "narcissists" or schizophrenics "schizophrenics" or alcoholics "alcoholics."
Or idiots "idiots," I suppose.